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Born To Be Mild? Cohort Effects Don’t (Fully) Explain Why Well-Being Is U-Shaped in Age

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  • Clark, Andrew E.

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

The statistical analysis of cross-section data very often reveals a U-shaped relationship between subjective well-being and age. This paper uses fourteen waves of British panel data to distinguish between two potential explanations of this shape: a pure life-cycle or aging effect, and a fixed cohort effect depending on year of birth. Panel analysis controlling for fixed effects continues to produce a U-shaped relationship between well-being and age, although this U-shape is flatter for life satisfaction than for the GHQ measure of mental well-being. The pattern of the estimated cohort effects also differs between the two well-being measures and, to an extent, by demographic group. In particular, those born earlier report more positive GHQ scores, controlling for their current age; this phenomenon is especially prevalent for women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3170.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3170

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Keywords: subjective well-being; cohorts; fixed effects; panel data;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Some new happiness research
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-11-24 14:04:24
  2. Happiness vs options
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-02-27 13:18:59
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